Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Indians Checklist of items for the First foreign trip

First time is always the thrust time for any activity that we do. But to be best at the first time itself, is a difficult thing without any guidance from the experienced people. Here we mean the experience of traveling abroad from India. So this Indian Checklist of items for the First Foreign trip will at least help the newbies i.e., the Indian travelers, to any foreign country.

Our emphasis in this article will be mainly on those items which are important to us but often we neglect them when we are at our home. There will be some issues when we are out of our country which will cause the troubles to us. The examples of some of those issues are:

Availability of a Particular item: This is the biggest problem. Every country has its own brands or varieties of items or products or food items whatever they may be. Finding them in foreign countries is something like a ‘Wild Goose chase’. In a foreign country we may always find something in many shops or stores, which we don’t need at all. Similarly we may not find something even if we search for it with a magnifying glass.

Foreign language: Once we have the possibility to find something we need in a foreign country, the language is the next toughest thing for so many people. Unless we are traveling to US or UK in this world, there is always a concern about the foreign language. For example in many European countries like Italy, France, Germany, etc, English can never be official. So expecting that people in those countries know English, is a big blunder. Of course somehow we can manage with English if we find people who know a little English.

Foreign price: After overcoming the two above mentioned obstacles, the price is always the deciding factor for buying things, almost in any country. Needless to say, the only motive of all the manufacturers all over the world is to strike a balance between making profit and losing a customer because of high pricing. But often the laws of the land do apply – like the VAT, Sales tax, etc., and prices vary from country to country. For example, with respect to India, the luxury items like Handycams, Digital cameras may be comparatively less priced in contrast to the highly priced daily consumables like Food items, Soaps, Shampoos, Perfumes, Clothing, etc.

We can quote so many factors like these but the above mentioned factors are the most important ones. So we made the following checklist of items in the order of starting our day after we get up from our bed. Please go through this checklist and comment on this article if you find that we missed something and let us know by commenting on this article about some more things to be added to this list. If you are satisfied please do leave your feedback.

To begin with these are the items about which you can always make a check before your first journey to a foreign country:

1.               Brushing Kit – 2 Brushes, Tooth paste, Tongue Cleaner, Mouthwash, etc

2.               Shaving Kit – Razors, Blades, Nail Cutter, Scissors, Shaving Cream, a small mirror, etc

3.               10-12 Soaps – for 3 months stay, max. 3-4 soaps per month

4.               Shampoo and Hair Oil – Either in Sachets or in Plastic Bottles

5.               Towels, Napkins, Hankies – In Europe, mostly tissue paper is used

6.               Combs, Perfumes, Talcum powders, Hair Gels, etc.

7.               6-8 pairs of Clothing – Normal Shirts, Trousers, Jeans and Under-Garments

8.               Sewing Kit – Some needles, thread rolls, Shirt/Trousers Buttons, etc

9.               Professional suiting – Coats with Coat hangers, Neck-ties, Tie clips, etc

10.           Winter Clothing – 1-2 Sweaters, Woollen Cap, Rain coat with Fur / Wool stuffing

11.           Facial Cold Creams, Lip Gels – 1-2 for 3-6 months. (Makeup kit for Girls / Ladies)

12.           Hand Gloves – Woolen preferable, Leather optional

13.           Shoes – Sports / Leather and both if possible with extra pairs of laces

14.           Thermal Wear – Depends on the person and only optional

15.           Wrist Watch, Pocket books, Pens, Calculators, etc

16.           Mobile – With/without SIM card. Any modern 3-band Nokia GSM Mobile or equivalent is suitable, and its charger

17.           Medicines (Allopathy or Homeopathy) with Doctor’s prescription – Mainly for Cough, Cold, Fever, Head-ache, Multi-Vitamin, B-Complex, etc

18.           Electronic items – USB Pen drives, External Hard disk, Digital Camera, Handycam or other gadgets

19.           Universal adapter – In case if you carry a laptop with an adapter of triangular 3-pins model

20.           Wallet – With more width than length, to suit the foreign currency (Euro are wider than Indian Rupee banknotes)

21.           MP3 player / CD-Walkman with CD-ROMs and some blank CDs

22.           Umbrella – Double or Triple fold – Very important because it rains often in some European countries compared to India

23.           Washing Powder or Soaps – Powder of 1-2 Kg or 2-3 Soaps will be sufficient for at least 3 months for a person

24.           Hawai Chappals – Mainly for home use in Toilet or Bath room

25.           Snacks or some other Food items – Needed in the beginning in case of food problems

26.           Ready mix / Ready-to-eat food items or Curries – Rasam and Sambar powders, Tamarind, Typical Indian Spices like Mustard, Cumin seeds, Cardamom, etc.

Out of all these items, please take care to put all the metal objects like razors, blades, screw drivers, etc., which are sharp and generally forbidden to be carried into the aircraft passenger cabin, (due to the chances of probable misuse) in the Cargo bag (the big bag of 20 kg capacity) which will be checked in, and also avoid keeping creams, gels, liquids in the Cabin bag (the small bag of 5 Kg capacity), which you carry along with you into the aircraft cabin.

Valuable electronics and fragile items can be kept in the Cabin bag. Please also enquire with the officials in the airport check-in or at the customs counter to list out all the valuable and highly priced electronic items you are carrying to a foreign country. They can issue a slip to you acknowledging that you are carrying those items to a particular country from India itself, and you will not be troubled at the customs check counter when you come back to India. Otherwise there may be a chance that the customs officers at the airport may think that you have bought all those valuable electronics in the foreign countries and are importing to India.

Another point worth to be noted down is that now-a-days, in India, if we carry laptop with us, it is counted as a Cabin baggage and then you will need to send also your cabin bag of 5 Kg into the Cargo. Generally maximum number of bags allowed per passenger will be 3 including the Cargo Bag and the two Cabin bags (In India one big Cargo bag, one small Cargo bag and a Cabin bag).

Otherwise in foreign countries, right now, they consider two pieces of Cabin baggage as maximum with one being a laptop and the other your normal cabin bag.

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